A day after president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was named the 2021 MLB Executive of the Year, the San Francisco Giants got right back to business with their usual flurry of moves. Only this time it came with the coaching staff, rather than with players.
The Giants announced three staffing moves on Tuesday. Taira Uematsu, who had been the bullpen catcher for the last 14 years, has been promoted to an assistant coach position. Uematsu is an amazing story, as he started with the team as an intern, and is now a key part of the coaching staff, and the first first coach in MLB history to be born in Japan.
The Giants have elevated longtime bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu to their full-time coaching staff. He is the first major league coach in history who was born and raised in Japan and is a native speaker of the language.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 9, 2021
Taira Uematsu started with the Giants as an intern and AAA bullpen catcher. He was elevated to the MLB traveling party when Keiichi Yabu required an interpreter in 2008. Yabu didn't return in '09 but Uematsu made himself indispensable. And now he's making history as an MLB coach.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 9, 2021
Uematsu takes over for last year’s assistant coach Mark Hallberg, who has been promoted to third base coach with Ron Wotus retiring.
And finally, Pedro Guerrero — no, not the former Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star — has been hired as an assistant hitting coach, to help fill the void left by Donnie Ecker, who recently left the Giants to take on a role with the Texas Rangers.
According to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, Guerrero was one of the first coaches that Gabe Kapler hired during his tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Giants felt it critical to have a native Spanish speaker on their hitting staff.
For now, everything else on the staff remains the same. And in case you’re oddly worried about the team getting too comfortable with the people they do have, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports that the team interviewed external candidates before promoting Hallberg.
After last year’s 107-win season, the Giants coaching staff is clearly considered one of the best in baseball. They’ll likely have to keep shuffling things around as coaches are poached off of their staff.